Top 5 Favorite Kids Books To Read Before Bed

Why bedtime reading?

Any book-loving parent out there knows that bedtime reading is essential time to spend with our children. These moments not only create memorable experiences that stay with us and our children, but also create a very important foundation for early literacy skills that our children will need in this increasingly difficult time of home schooling and educational unpredictability.

One thing this past year has taught me, is that there is no shortage of opportunities to educate our children. With three little ones of my own, I’ve always read to one or more of them before bed as their interest requested it. But lately, I’ve been making it a point to have a “family reading time” before bed where we also then talk about our day. Reviewing the things we liked most and the things we liked the least about our day.

A routine like the one we do, gives my kids some relaxation and processing time while they’re being read to and then a discussion to let things off their chest and share about their day. Another way to engage your children in the reading, and also promote literacy development, is to partake in dialogic reading where you leave sentences open-ended and allow your child(ren) to finish the sentence. Asking them questions during reading time and having them thinking about different things provides an environment that fosters further literacy and cognitive development.

Dialogic reading strategies help to transform a typical book-reading session into a conversation between adults and children.

Dennis, L. R., & Horn, E. (2011). Strategies for Supporting Early Literacy Development. Young Exceptional Children, 14(3), 29–40. https://doi.org/10.1177/1096250611420553

Reading with our children should be fun, but it’s also important to understand the building blocks that it provides for them and ways in which you can make it even more fun than it already is! Here are our top 5 favorite books to read before bed!

Top 5 Favorite Kids Books To Read Before Bed

Good Night, Little Bear by Richard Scarry

First a story, and then a kiss from Mother Bear, and Father Bear carries Little Bear to bed. And that’s when the fun begins. Father Bear gets to Little Bear’s room, but Little Bear is missing! Little readers will see him hiding in the MOST obvious place but Father Bear cannot seem to find him. Is he under the stove? Is he in the garden? Is he in the woodbox? Only when Father Bear walks past the mirror does the silliness end, and in a very tasty way. With this, one of the most charming bedtime tales ever, Richard Scarry has once again proven his timeless appeal.

Pete the Cat – Construction Destruction by James Dean

When Pete sees that the playground is in bad shape, he gets a totally groovy idea—make a new playground! Pete calls in construction workers and cement mixers, backhoes and dump trucks to build the coolest playground ever. In the end, Pete learns that to make something special, you have to dream big. Complete with over 30 stickers!

Penguin in Love by Salina Yoon

Geisel Honor-winning author/illustrator Salina Yoon’s beloved character Penguin searches for his match in Penguin in Love–a charming picture book that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day.

When Penguin finds a lost mitten on the ice one day, he wonders who it belongs to–after all, every mitten has a mate! To unravel the mystery, he embarks on the biggest adventure of his life. Is love waiting for Penguin at the end of this incredible journey?

Prolific author/illustrator Salina Yoon’s spare text and bright, energetic illustrations bring to life this endearing story celebrating love in its many forms.

Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan

It’s evening in the forest and Little Owl wakes up from his day-long sleep to watch his friends enjoying the night. Hedgehog sniffs for mushrooms, Skunk nibbles at berries, Frog croaks, and Cricket sings. A full moon rises and Little Owl can’t understand why anyone would want to miss it. Could the daytime be nearly as wonderful? Mama Owl begins to describe it to him, but as the sun comes up, Little Owl falls fast asleep.

Putting a twist on the bedtime book, Little Owl’s Night is sure to comfort any child with a curiosity about the night.

The Solar System by Dennis R. Shealy

This simple yet informative book brings our fascinating solar system to life for kids just learning how to read. They’ll enjoy poring over the dramatic illustrations as they learn about planets, constellations, satellites, spacecraft, and more. Lively and up to date, this perfect “first book” will inspire little ones to search for shooting stars, constellations, and the Milky Way!

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